Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Nice Cup of Tea in Singapore

TWG tea  Enticed by the romantic description, Holiday in Paris was my choice from an extensive list at my 70th birthday celebratory tea party at the Fairmont Hotel during a visit to my family in Singapore. Feeling nostalgic, I asked for some to be brought back to the UK when the family was repatriated.

Rare Yin Zhen and sweet vanilla have been blended as an ode to a leisurely promenade along the cobblestone streets of Paris. Nard and wildflowers decorate this cup with their crisp, floral savour and leave a heady, perfumed aftertaste. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Fast Nutritious Breakfast

Good morning and the top of the day to you!

Nowadays I am mindful about what I eat, aiming for low-sugar and restricting other refined carbs and snacks. So my diet is composed of around 90% good nutrition with an occasional nice but naughty treat. Add to this a revived gym membership and I’m feeling several years younger than my advanced age and full of beans (forgive the pun). Here's today's breakfast of blueberries, cantaloupe melon, and Yeo Valley natural yoghurt. I added a few chopped mixed nuts, a sprinkling of Inulin powder and a small amount of a ready-prepared mixture of milled linseed with Goji berries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (which was super-cheap in Aldi). Protein, healthy fats,fibre and vitamins in a thrown together bowl to keep be on the move until lunchtime.

Inulin is prebiotic, helping to improve gut health.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Why Drink Decaf?

What, you may ask, is the point of denuded, decaffeinated coffee? Well, there isn't one. If you don't mind the prospect of a future of addiction, shot nerves, insomnia, high blood pressure and headaches. Ever wondered why some European nations are so excitable? It's the ritual of the early morning espresso, so thick that it may be possible to stand a spoon in it, and so strong that it has to be washed down with a glass of water by the unaccustomed and unwary.
OK, I exaggerate. But I do have difficult-to-control high blood pressure; and caffeine doesn't do anything to abate my insomnia. So I have been drinking  decaf for a long time - possibly longer than you have been alive.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Lemon Posset - Fast Recipe for an Indulgent After-Dinner Treat

We all deserve the occasional treat. Lemon Posset is a deliciously moreish end to a meal and it's both quick and cheap to prepare. It’s high in fat and sugar  so best eaten only very ocassionally. The three ingredients  to serve three people are -

  • A 300 ml tub of double cream
  • One lemon - unwaxed
  • 70 g caster sugar
Make sure that the lemon is unwaxed, as you will need to grate the rind.

Here's what to do:

  1. Grate the lemon rind and then squeeze the juice
  2. Weigh the sugar
  3. Pour the cream and sugar into a saucepan (heavy based is best to prevent burning, if you have one)
  4. Place the cream and sugar mix over the hob and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Boil for three minutes
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the lemon rind and juice
  6. Divide between three dishes and chill in the fridge for 3 hours to allow the posset to set (I like to use a pretty cup and saucer to serve but a stemmed glass dish is also good)

Total calories-  a whopping 1792. That's 597 calories per serving.  If that is too many to contemplate you could, if  you choose, divide the mixture between four ramekins and serve the posset with a few soft berries. 

Cost - approximately 50 pence per person if serving three. 

Eggless Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

I can almost hear you groaning but, trust me, as chocolate cakes go it stands up well to comparison with less healthy alternatives. I have to admit that this is not the sort of thing that I would normally conjure up in my kitchen but I was inspired to bake it after seeing it made during an episode of Eat Well for Less on BBC television.

The cake is made with rapeseed oil (canola to those of you in the New World) and uses yoghurt as a binding agent. It's low in sugar - sweetness is provided by the beetroot.  An added benefit is that that you simply throw all of the ingredients into the food processor - which saves on effort and washing up!  You will find several recipes for chocolate and beetroot cake on the internet but here is the one that I used  Eggless chocolate and beetroot cake 
I left out the chocolate topping and served the cake with raspberries and single cream (you might feel that the cream defeats my objective of a long and healthy life - but I swear it was only a smidgen). You could use creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt sweetened with honey as an alternative.The man about the house enjoyed the cake and didn't detect the beetroot hidden in it's gooey goodness.